English speaking accountants and bookkeepers in the Netherlands

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On this page:
» What's the difference between an accountant and bookkeeper in The Netherlands?  
» How to start your business in The Netherlands?  
» Which business types do we know in the Netherlands, and what are their differences?  
» Which administrative duties do you have in the Netherlands?  
» How to find an accountant, tax accountant or bookkeeper in The Netherlands?  

Where to find English-speaking accountants and bookkeepers in The Netherlands?

Finding the right English-speaking accountant in your region is not always that easy. The most accounting websites are mainly Dutch and as a foreign resident or company it is hard to decide which accounting firms will have English-speaking employees. Besides that it is also hard to determine the quality of these accounting firms. In this article we will tell you more about the rules of bookkeeping in the Netherlands and how foreign businesses or expats can find the perfect English-speaking accountant or bookkeeper. 

 

What's the difference between an accountant and bookkeeper in The Netherlands?

In international terms, accountant is the collective noun for several functions. In The Netherlands the definitions are a bit different from other countries. A bookkeeper is a more administrative title, and everybody in the Netherlands is able to start a job as a bookkeeper. This is not a protected profession. On the other hand, to become an accountant, you should have successfully finished a bachelor or master study in accounting. An accountant has a controlling role and this is a legally protected profession. 

Bookkeepers do mainly the administrative work like entering invoices, tax declarations and annual reports. If a case becomes more complex, it is often recommended going to an accountant instead of a bookkeeper. You should ask yourself the question if you need an accountant or if a bookkeeper will fit your needs as well. In general,  a bookkeeper cost less than a university educated accountant.

How to start your business in The Netherlands?

The first thing you have to do when starting a company is to set up a business plan. This plan will give you support, and it is something to fall back on if you are struggling with setting up the business. After completing the business plan, you have to go to the Chamber of Commerce to register the company. If you decide to start op a BV structure (the Dutch equivalent of a limited company) you should register the company via a Dutch notary. 

As soon as the company is registered, you will receive a company number, and you can apply for a business tax id-number. After receiving both numbers, you are ready to kick-off the business!


business plan

Which business types do we know in the Netherlands, and what are their differences?

The most common business types in The Netherlands are:

  • Eenmanszaak’(one man firm),
  • Vennootschap onder Firma (partnership)
  • Besloten Vennootschap (Ltd.).

Read about the difference between these business types below.

Eenmanszaak / VOF / BV - the differences
The benefit of an ‘eenmanszaak’ and ‘VOF’ (Vennootschap onder Firma) is  the easy accessibility to start your own business. When you are thinking about starting a ‘BV’ (Besloten Vennootschap) you have to arrange additional things. First you have to go to a notary to set up a company deed and a shareholder agreement.  

The biggest difference between an ‘eenmanszaak’ / ‘ VOF’ and a ‘BV structure’ is the private liability. Let’s hope it will never happen, but when your company would go bankrupt you are personally liable with an ‘eenmanszaak’ or ‘VOF’. If you are the owner of a ‘BV’ you are normally employing yourself to the company which will give you more certainty. 

While reading this you probably think that it is the safest and best option to set up a BV structure. Maybe it is, but this depends on the volume you will make and how high the profit will be. The most start-ups start as an ‘eenmanszaak’ or ‘VOF’ because of the tax benefits you will  have. If you are not sure about the right business type for your business we advise you to discuss your case with an accountant.

Which administrative duties do you have in the Netherlands?

Whether you have a one-man firm (eenmanszaak), a partnership (VOF) or a Ltd. (BV - besloten vennootschap) some administrative duties are still the same. Every company is legally obligated to do the following:

  • The administration of in- and outgoing invoices;
  • Retain their administration for a minimum of 5 years;
  • Tax declaration each month, each quarter or each year;
  • Personal tax declaration.

If you are the owner of a BV you have to do some additional things as well: 

  • Corporate sales tax declaration (vennootschapsbelasting aangifte);
  • Compile and deposit the annual tax statement.

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How to find an accountant, tax accountant or bookkeeper in The Netherlands?

Do you need help finding a registered accountant in the Netherlands for bookkeeping and/or preparing financial reports? Or perhaps your company needs an audit firm in The Netherlands?

At Boekhouders.nl we believe in the strength of helping each other. Therefore, we connect dozens of entrepreneurs every day. We own a database of over 700 accounting firms in the Netherlands and Belgium, including the metropolitan areas of Amsterdam, Rotterdam. Utrecht, The Hague, Eindhoven, Brussels and Antwerp. If you are still looking for a financial partner, someone who thinks along with you and delivers quality, you should definitely use the free service of Boekhouders.nl. We can connect you with three fluent English-speaking accountants or bookkeepers. Without obligation, you can have a meeting with all of them, to see if there is a match.  

We make sure all of them will fit your needs. 

Accountant or bookkeeper in The Netherlands? Just fill out the form below or please contact us via the phone (+31 (0)432003092) or e-mail (info@boekhouders.nl). 

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